Thursday 16 October 2008

Flower Power Button Ring - courtesy of Spoilt Rotten Beads

This great project was sent to us by Spoilt Rotten Beads

Wire wrapped rings are really inexpensive, simple and easy to make, they make lovely gifts and the possibilities are endless, once you've perfected this project try experimenting with Swarovski Crystals and semi-precious stones...


0.6mm Silver Plated Wire

Flower buttons

Additional Tools Required: Wooden Ring Mandrel, Pencil, Side Cutters, Chain Nose Pliers,Crimping Pliers


1. To begin with you will need to draw a pencil line around your wooden ring mandrel to mark the size that you’d like your ring to be. The easiest way to do this is to take a ring that fits you and put this on the ring mandrel, draw a line around the mandrel underneath the ring.
2. Cut off approx 80cm of 0.6mm silver plated wire and place it around the ring mandrel just below the line you have drawn. It’s important to place the wire just below the line as you need to make the ring slightly large as when you wrap it will become smaller.
3. Wrap it around the ring mandrel 4-5 times being careful not to cross the wires over or it will not sit flat on your finger.
4. Bring both ends of the wire together and put a twist in the wire up against the ring to stop the wires from moving

5. Thread your button onto both strands of wire – thread one end through one hole and the other through the other hole, if your button has four holes use the two diagonal holes.

6. Push the button right down hard up against the ring and bend both ends of the wire over, push down on the button with your thumb and twist the wire into a spiral using your fingers

7. Slip the ring off the mandrel
8. Take one end of the wire over to one side of the ring and down onto the ring band, wrap this end of wire tightly around the ring band about three times, snip off any excess wire and crimp it against the side of the ring band using your crimping pliers, (don’t worry if your ring band gets a little distorted at this stage as you’ll be able to smarten it up again later)
9. Take the other end of the wire across to the other side of the ring and down onto the ring band – repeat step 8
10. Place the ring back onto the ring mandrel to reshape it – if it is a little small at this stage you can take a rubber or leather backed hammer and hammer it down on the ring mandrel to increase the size of the ring.

For more beading projects from Spoilt Rotten beads take a look here

Sunday 10 August 2008

A little explanation

So for those of you who don't know, last Summer I (Anna) opened a shop in Chichester. It was all a little bit of an accident (sometimes life just hands these things to you and you have to jump in with both feet and both eyes closed... I mean open.) but it came about that I found myself opening a craft shop in the front of the area that Button Company does all it's despatch etc from. And it kept mum happy because she could force me to put out all the buttons she likes so she could research what sells and why at somewhere other than shows. So the point of this little story is to somewhat explain the appearance of items other than buttons at the shows. I must confess to it being my fault that she now touts around fabrics, ribbons, sometimes paper, woolfelt, and other things besides. If she was going to make me put buttons in my shop (that was a REAL hardship, obviously!) then she could do me a little something in return. I am thinking about putting some of them on the button company website, although I couldn't nearly put them all on, it takes me long enough to get them on my shop website (that's The Eternal Maker, btw). At least the woolfelt, I am thinking, and some more ribbons and things. and maybe some selections of things that go with the new colour sections I've made. Hmmm... food for thought...

Tuesday 5 August 2008


okay, so it's been a while - I've been busy!!
Actually, the truth of the matter is, I haven't been busy at all. I had my op at the beginning of July, and although afterwards I felt fine in body, my mind just seemed to go bleuughhh. And I had all this time off where I had to rest up and I thought to myself, goodo, I can get on with some of those jobs that I actually WANT to do that lugging around boxes and ordering paper and filing just get in the way of. Ah, I was young and foolish. I got out one project, started it, then my mind went bleuughh. I got out another project, started it, then my mind yet again went bleuughhh. Are you starting to see a pattern?
So where I thought I would be keeping busy with all these lovely projects and then I could show you them and say ooohh look at me aren't I clever I have nothing to show for my endeavours. Although I do have a lot of ideas which I may be able to get around to when I am back in the swing of things. (By which I mean, filing, lugginh around boxes etc...)
The plus side of things is that I have had time to think about the new range I need to get ready for next season. I think it's time to step up a gear, I don't know about you but I am FED UP with the same old same old. Buttons, you know, don't need to all look the same. Also brilliantly, my new dye shop was built while I was off, and oh she's a beaut. 5 little dye pots all in a row. Before I was dealing with mainly one but sometimes two. 5!!!! Hurrah.
So that's all I have to say for now, I am going to go and try and finish some of those projects, I am thinking up some patterns I am going to try and put as free downloads on here and the website... I'll let you know when I get around to it.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Buttonly Loveliness

Whilst at Stitches trade show I was looking at these oh-so-inspiring books from Autumn Leaves, Designing with Color, Designing with Detail, and The Designing With Recipe Book. I think, quite possibly, and this is really saying something - that they do the best layouts with buttons I have EVER seen. Here's a company that's not afraid to use buttons liberally throughout their projects. Take a look at their new creativity inc. website. Here are a few of my favourite projects from there. this one, and this one, this one and here's another, and finally...

How much do you love them? How's that for inspiring buttonly loveliness? There is another layout in Designing with Detail which isn't in their gallery, but which inspired this card:

The main card is about 6" x 6", the one on top is about 0.5" smaller on all sides, and on this one I lightly drew diagonal lines with my ruler about 1.5" apart, then stitched up them with my sewing machine - I don't think hand stitching would work very well - or at least, not mine! - then on each cross-section I stuck a button - I would have stitched them but for some reason I didn't, I wished I had after, as some of them stuck out a bit too far. On each button I had tied a little knot of ribbon or string or thread - I like the fact that they are different on each one. Then I stuck on the other piece of card which I had used a rub-on 'hello' and stitched around it. I was pretty pleased with it, although I will have to love the person I give it to a lot as it took a little longer than most of my cards. I used little buttons from 'purplicious' & 'vintage' theme bags.

Monday 14 April 2008

Mini mini mini mini....

So, the fabulous mini buttons came in today. I knew what they were going to look like as we made and I dyed the original lot we had, but because our packaging costs so much we sent the next lot out to get made. In the meantime we sold out of them and I forgot just how much I like them. Especially the mini inheritance colours, they are SO lovely. I am so pleased we managed to get such good colours on them, and they work really well as embellishments for some of our bigger buttons, and look fab on cards & quilts.... I tossed it up whether to make a card or a quilt as a sample... unsurprisingly the card option won. So here are a few designs I made earlier.

Just a little flower punch, sew back & forth on the machine (normal machine, normal foot, normal thread -although if I'd have thought about it I would have definitely tried the Hemingworth to see how it went) in a contrasting colour - how cool does this acid green & hot pink look on the dark purple card (Raisin, Bazzill Basics)
Cupcakes: well, they're in at the moment, aren't they?

I stuck on the icing of the cupcake first with doublesided tape, then freehand (can you tell?!) machine stitched the rest of the cupcake and it's case. And voila, the cherry on top is perfect chosen from Mini Baby Boom, either round or square. I prefer the ones on cream, it's more crisp, shabby chic almost.

Little trees:
Not sure what type of card this makes, but I wanted to see how the tree card in the last post looked in miniature.


This seems to be popular with everyone I showed it to, but let me tell you, tidying the knots on the back was a big job...

oh yes, and this little cute.. but pretty tricky.

That was all I could come up with on Saturday, although I have had a couple of ideas since then. I want to make a tree branch with a nest and bird eggs, although I have a feeling that that idea will be one that never sees the light of day!

Anyone else got any good ideas? I would love to see them.

Monday 31 March 2008

Olympia & my button/ fabric cards

Soooo... it's show time again, and this time it was Olympia, in London. It's a quiet show, not our best, but good enough. We decided to combine with my (Anna's) shop product and that seemed to go well. We took all my fat quarters, and some papercraft products and everyone seemed to love them almost as much as I do. Anyway, to try and combine the fabric, paper & buttons I made some cards to display. Well I was pretty pleased with the results...

This one is using Basic Grey Mellow..../ Bazzill Copper & a green fabric with buttons from Vintage. I sewed around the tree on my sewing machine (holding the green fabric in place with some double sided tape) and then stuck the tree trunk & buttons on with more double sided.

Here is a detail shot:
This one is using a lovely Moda pink stripy seersucker (I LOVE this), a big basic pink button, using the offcuts from the fabric to tie the button - these seersucker fabrics, if they aren't good for anything else (which they are) are perfect for this look. this is using purple ribbon with some purplicious buttons, I quite like this, it's fairly simple, but I'm not sure about the ribbon I used, it frayed a bit, and not in a good way!
I've made a whole pile more, it seems when I find the time I have to make hundreds as the time is so hard to find in the first place I have to make the most of it!

Wednesday 19 March 2008

So, in time for the Stitches trade show I made up this little leaflet.  (I shouldn't really call it little, it took me long enough to design) It was mainly because although we can sell our necklace kits retail, I could'nt really afford to sell them trade anymore.  But I definitely wanted the shops we sell to to feel like they weren't being short-changed and could still give their customers instructions for things.  So, if you've always wanted to make one of our necklaces but felt that they are just a little bit too expensive, one of the projects in this leaflet will tell you how.  It's not quite the same as the other ones, as the buttons aren't quite so fabulously gorgeous and are generally a little smaller too.  Here is a pic of it made with a very berry theme bag:

I don't think it compares too badly with the original.  What do you think?

Tuesday 11 March 2008

12345678910, 12345678910,

12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 13245678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 12345678910, 123456... how many time can you count to 10 before going completely loony?  It's a lot, granted, but it will happen eventually.  Case in point, the workers at buttoncompany.  Daily I see loopy behaviour from one or other of them (I myself, am of course entirely normal.) 
So why are we sending ourselves loony counting 1-10?  well, most of our buttons are packed in 10's and unfortunately that is a number too small to bother using on the electronic scales.  So, 12345678910, we soldier on.  12345678910, 12345678910....
The landlord's agent for our premises came round the other day because the landlord is thinking about building an extension, and we asked if we could have it, and are trying to persuade him to build it EVEN BIGGER than his original plans.   I don't mean to be rude, but she's a strange old bean, and I get the impression she may not be a button lover.  The reason I get this impression was her response to the fact that we needed more space for our buttons.  She said this, and I repeat: "How much space do you need for buttons, it's just bloody buttons, REALLY."

*stunned silence*

Now I admit, we have a lot of buttons.  (After all, a company called ButtonCompany, it's kind of expected).  You wouldn't think there were so many buttons out there, really, would ya?  WEll there are, and we seem to have collected rather a few of them.
 And unfortunately for my landlord's agent, although fortunately for me, and you, maybe, that's the kind of comment that makes me want to dig my heels in and say - "you think this is a lot of buttons?  well, wait until you see THIS"
So, we got a bit busy, haha, and just wait until she comes round next time, she'll see just how many buttons I do need...

Anna says I have got to learn how to do this!

So here goes - my first ever attempt at blogging ... good evening everybody ... I hope we are going to be able to provide you with lots of interesting things and a few laughs along the way... I promise to be back on-line from time to time but it won't be very often as I'm better at playing spider solitaire when I do get near the computer. That's all for now - Sarah

Hurrah! ButtonCompany has a blog!

Ooohhh, this is going to be good...  I have been thinking and thinking and thinking and then thinking some more, and I have finally worked out (i'll be the first to admit that I am sometimes a little slow..) that you people out there were just crying out for somewhere to see more of our lovely buttons, to see button projects, to talk about what you want from buttons and to just generally discuss the brilliance that is buttons...

So first up, for those of you who don't know, here's the family:  ( I will show photos of us all later, but I have to get appropriate ones first)

Sarah, the big boss, the head honcho, the one that you will have seen if you go to any of the shows, and also my mum, (you can all share her if you like).  

Anna (that's me), I do the dyeing, the computer stuff, the designing, and most of the blogging I guess from now on too...

Fiona, the one who knows all the random buttons we have and where they can be found.  She likes to say she's an oompa loompa, but she's got more than a little Willy Wonka about her too.

Jan - our Polish engineer, who designs and makes lots of the buttons we sell.   

This is the team on the ground here, but we will be looking for a design team to help us design projects with our buttons, both fabric, paper & jewellery.  So I guess any offers are welcome at the moment! 

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